Developmental Psychology

African Woman using laptop at home at night
Play, ADHD, and the Construction of the Social Brain Jaak Panksepp

Because of the role of play in the epigenetic construction of social brain functions, the young of all mammalian species need sufficient play. For the same reason, the nature of that play becomes an important social policy issue for early childhood development and education. Animal research on this topic indicates that play can facilitate the maturation of behavioral inhibition in growing animals, while psychostimulants reduce playfulness. According to the research, our failure to provide adequate opportunities for natural play in modern societies may have contributed to the steady growth in the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD) in children.

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High-Dose Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) in ADHD Treatment Jane Pei-Chen Chang

In this study researchers conducted a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial comparing the effects of high-dose eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 1.2 g) and placebo on cognitive function (continuous performance test) in 92 youth (age 6–18-years-old) with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Blood erythrocytes PUFAs were measured before and after treatment, to examine the effects of baseline endogenous EPA levels on treatment response and the effects of EPA treatment on PUFAs levels.

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Neurobehavioural Effects of Developmental Toxicity Philippe Grandjean, Philip J Landrigan

Neurodevelopmental disabilities, including autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and other cognitive impairments, affect millions of children worldwide, and some diagnoses seem to be increasing in frequency. Industrial chemicals that injure the developing brain are among the known causes for this rise in prevalence. In this 2006 study, researchers completed a systematic review and identified five industrial chemicals as developmental neurotoxicants: lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic, and toluene with the possibility of others that may be unknown in the environment.

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Non-ionizing Radio Frequency Radiation’s Affect on Learning
New research links non-ionizing radio frequency radiation from wireless devices we use to biologic harm and adverse effects on behavior, memory and learning.
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The Babysafe Project

Select research suggests that wireless radiation from cell phones, wireless internet, and other signals can affect a baby in the womb or even directly following its birth. The Babysafe Project provides such research and we’ve provided the link here for information on this topic and how to protect your child prior to birth.

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Screen Dependency Disorders: a new challenge for child neurology Aric Sigman, PhD

In a 2017 journal article, Dr. Aric Sigman found associations between screen dependency disorders and specefic neurogenetic polymorphisms, abnormal neural tissue and neural function. The research goes on to say that it is even possible that intensive routine exposure to certain screen activities during critical stages of development may alter gene expression leading to screen dependency disorders.

The article discusses these concerns and preventive strategies for child neurology.

Read the Journal Article:2017 Journal Article
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What Screen Time and Screen Media Do To Your Child’s Brain and Sensory Processing Ability Amy and Evelyn Guttmann

Did you know? Night-time exposure to LED-illuminated devices (computers, tablets, phones, etc.) supress melatonin and disrupt the natural sleep cycle? Sleep cycle disruption is a significant factor in ADHD as well as other mood and behavioral problems.

Additional research also suggests that too much screen time for your children can affect the way your child’s brain functions with too much information too fast and creates more stimuli than our brains are capable of handling.

Hands on OT founders Amy and Evelyn Guttman have done a wonderful job of capturing some of this research in a recent blog post.

Read More from Amy and Emily's blog:Hands on OT
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The role of zinc supplementation on the metallothionein system in children with autism spectrum disorder Nagwa A Meguid

A recent research report suggests that children ages 3-8 on the autism spectrum may benefit from zinc supplementation. In this 2019 study, 30 patients were treated with zinc supplementation and evaluated. The data suggests an increase in cognitive-motor performance and an increase3d serum metallothionein concentration as well as a significant lowering of circulating serum levels of copper.

Read More from the National Institute of Health:Zinc Article
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